Not sure what to do on your gap year? Check out our listings guide for inspiration.
Live in a model green village in the Himalayas, trek to the base
camp of Mount Everest or work with street children in Kenya for
four weeks to three months.
Cost: £650-£1,850 (excl. flights)
Contact: 02870 831 258; www.adventurealternative.com
African Conservation Experience
Rehabilitate game animals or help with their capture and tagging
in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Trips last from two weeks
to three months.
Cost: £1,790-£6,790 (flights, food and accommodation included)
Contact: 01454 269182; www.conservationafrica.net
Choose from sports development projects in Zambia, wildlife
photography in South Africa or hands on lion conservation in
Zimbabwe for one month to six weeks.
Contact: 0800 098 8440; www.africanimpact.com
Volunteering placements include everything from teaching in
China and sports coaching in South Africa and construction in
Nepal. Also offers paid work placements in Canada, Australia, New
Zealand and America.
Contact: 020 7553 6180; www.bunac.org/uk
Volunteer as a teaching assistant in a shanty school classroom
in Trujillo, Peru. Also take dental electives and veterinarians.
Other projects include community development, poverty eradication
and helping abandoned pregnant teens. Minimum stay one month.
Cost: £310 per month (inc. accommodation)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bruceperu.org
Join communities for disabled children and adults all over the
world and help out with therapy support, workshops and recreational
Cost: No fee
Contact individual community; www.camphill.org.uk
Spend your summer in the USA working as a camp counsellor for a
drama camp or a special needs camp or perhaps even a holiday
resort. Pocket money is provided.
Contact: 020 7581 7373; www.campamerica.co.uk
You can help out on a stud farm in New Zealand, work with
premature babies in Argentina, be a radio DJ in Honduras or do a
journalism placement in India, to name a few of the projects on
Cost: £1,395-£3,320 (excl. flights)
Contact: 01883 340 960; www.changingworlds.co.uk
Community Service Volunteers (CSV)
Reduce your carbon footprint by staying in the UK to volunteer.
Work in refugee programmes, in homeless shelters and young
offenders institutions or care for disabled students.
Cost: Free accommodation and food, with weekly allowance
Contact: 020 7278 6601; www.csv.org.uk
If you want to really get off the beaten track then why not
drive from the UK to Banjul, Dakhla or Timbuktu. Takes three weeks
and your vehicle must cost less than £100.
Cost: £150-£375 to enter
Contact: 01392 881748; www.dakarchallenge.co.uk
Take a voyage to Antarctica, discover Buddhism in Tibet, cycle
around Cuba, traverse China's Silk Road, learn bush skills in a
Zulu village in South Africa and much much more. Trips last up to a
Contact: 0845 291 4542; www.explore.co.uk
Spend a year living in Florence studying interior design,
graphic design or architecture (in English). Four-week summer
courses are available.
Contact: 0039 055 23 02481; www.florence-institute.com
Explore northern hilltribes and villages in Banghok, visit
India's temples and safaris or experience South East Asia on a
shoestring. Trips to suit all budgets from four days to a month.
Contact: 0844 272 2060; www.gadventures.com
Whether you fancy a Fijan fling, hopping over to Oz, or rocking
up to the Rockies, this website caters for all. Learn to scuba dive
in Thailand, work as an au pair in America help out in a monkey
sanctuary in South Africa. Experiences from six days to a year.
Contact: 01892 527392; www.gap360.com
Care for orphans in Africa, work on a medical internship in
India or enjoy adventure travels in the Himalayas.
Contact: 01635 45556; www.gapguru.com
A website providing useful information and advice for the
prospective gap year student. Talk to gappers who have been away
with a certain company or get advice on whether or not to stay with
a host family.
Contact: 0845 3447667; www.gapyear.com
Global Volunteer Network
Promote awareness of Global warming and climate change in New
Zealand or care for abused animals in Thailand. Many more
placements available, lasting two weeks to six months.
Contact: 0800 0325035; www.globalvolunteernetwork.org
Hand rear lion cubs in an animal reserve in South Africa, get
up-close to pandas in the Chinese wilderness or teach disadvantaged
children to surf in Cape Town.
Cost: £439-£1,407 (excl. flights)
Contact: 01892 883205; www.i-to-i.com
Formerly known as Gap Year for Grown Ups. Learn Spanish in Costa
Rica, spend a year travelling the world or run workshops to improve
the self-esteem of children in Argentina.
Contact: 08445 734101; www.inspiredbreaks.co.uk
International Voluntary Service
Help with environmental conservation on beaches in Morocco, help
at a centre for disabled children in Latvia or work with elderly
people in mountain villages in Japan. These projects last from
three to 12 months and are continually changing.
Contact: 0131 243 2745; www.ivsgb.org.uk
Teach English in Argentina, volunteer in a Red Cross hospital in
Japan, or work as an outdoor activity instructor in Australia, to
name a few of the projects available.
Contact: 0118 959 4914; www.lattitude.org.uk
Support communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America without
leaving your desk. Help youth groups to write funding proposals or
help them find much needed equipment such as an overhead projector.
Qualify as a ski or snowboard instructor in three to 18 weeks in
Canada, New Zealand or France. Also see parent company Nonstop
Adventure, if you want to train to surf or mountain bike.
Contact: 020 7720 6500; www.nonstopsnow.com
This gap year company offers anything and everything for the
adventurous gapper. Work on human rights in Togo or veterinary
medicine in India. Placements for two weeks, three months or
Contact: 01903 708300; www.projects-abroad.co.uk
Join one of the five, seven or 10-week expeditions to Costa Rica
& Nicaragua, India, Borneo or Tanzania. Work on sustainable
community and environmental projects before undertaking a tough
Cost: £1,850-£3,150 (excl. flights)
Contact: 020 7183 1270; www.raleighinternational.org
A wide range of gap travel opportunities - from four days to a
year, 192 programmes in 44 countries - covering conservation,
volunteering, teaching, paid work, expeditions, tours. And even
Costs : £169-£9,749
Contact: 01892 882891; www.realgap.co.uk
Formerly Student Partnerships Worldwide. Spend three to six
months in India, Nepal, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia,
Zimbabwe or USA working on community led projects such as HIV/Aids
education and youth empowerment.
Cost: from £800 donation
Contact: 020 7976 8070; www.restlessdevelopment.org
If you are training as a teacher, nurse or doctor or are already
qualified, then this company offers some very worthwhile projects
in Malawi. There are also opportunities for environmental
volunteers. Placements from a minimum of three months.
Cost: From £1,320 (excl. accommodation)
Contact: 01525 216346; www.rippleafrica.org
Support and Housing Assistance for People with Disabilities.
Volunteering opportunities in London. Act as a personal assistant
to help people with disabilities in return for free furnished
Cost: Free - you receive a £60 subsistence allowance
Contact: 020 8675 6095; www.shad.org.uk
Want to travel? Enjoy playing sports? Then choose from one of
their 10 sports programmes in New Zealand, Australia, Argentina,
South Africa and Sri Lanka lasting four weeks to six months.
Contact: 0844 858 9103; www.sportlived.co.uk
Make a difference by working with great white sharks in
Mauritius, teach art in Brazil or coach cricket in schools in
Argentina. Placements last from a week to a year.
Contact: 01903 502595; www.travellersworldwide.com
Volunteers for Environment and Education Program. Immerse
yourself in Nepalese culture by working in an orphanage, teaching
English or IT, learning the Nepali language, building smokeless
stores or pit latrines, or raising awareness of environmental and
health issues. Projects last from 10 days to 10 months.
Cost: from £198 (£55 for each further week) (excl. flights)
Contact: 00 977 01 4565566; www.veepnepal.org.np
Village Education Project (Kilimanjaro)
Immerse yourself in the local Tanzanian community while teaching
village children English, maths and IT on the slopes of Mount
Kilimanjaro. You can also help renovate school buildings.
Cost: contact VEPK
Contact: 01732 743000 or email@example.com; www.kiliproject.org
If you know you want to volunteer in Africa, their website has
lots to offer. Work in rural Tanzania for two to 10 weeks. The
project for 2012 is the construction of a rainwater harvesting tank
Contact: 01629 640980; www.volunteerafrica.org
Spend three months volunteering in Africa or Asia with the
International Citizen Service. Projects include improving water
access in Bangladesh, and helping to prevent AIDs in Ethiopia.
Cost: £800 donation
Contact: 020 8780 7500; www.globalxchange.org.uk
Discover Asia by teaching English to monks in Thailand, work
with street children in Vietnam or help at an orphanage in India.
Projects last from one to 24 weeks.
Cost: from £275 (excl. flights)
Contact: 020 3384 7024; www.gapyearinasia.com